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PIA Press Release

Livelihood programs for R-XI workers offered

by RG Alama

Davao City (4 June) -- The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office in Davao is offering a new livelihood program for workers in the formal labor sector and also those in the informal sector.

WIN-AP which stands for Workers Income Augmentation Program aims to supplement the income of wage-earners and also aims to provide opportunities to those in the informal sector to start up their own businesses.

According to DOLE XI Regional Director Jalilo dela Torre the project has benefited about 1,600 workers in the region for the first four months of 2009 where about P16-million worth of grants were released.

"As long as they have the proposals we can fund it," says dela Torre.

Each proposal is evaluated and can entitle the beneficiaries to a maximum grant of P500,000 subject which are to liquidation. The program is coursed through non-government organizations, people's organizations, local government units and unionized workers.

The program comes with a capacity building training for them to manage their fund. Dela Torre says they will entertain any proposal but discourages the beneficiaries to engage in transportation-related businesses or any venture that requires huge capital outlay like buying vehicles.

One beneficiary is the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Franklin Baker (NaMaFraB) a 23-year old workers association consisting of about 290 rank-and-file workers of Franklin Baker Coconut oil processing plant in Santa Cruz Davao del Sur.

NaMaFraB president Reynaldo Batingal said that this is the first time the association is engaging in a livelihood project as they were enticed by no less than the DOLE regional director to apply for the said program.

Their project proposal is a consumer store where workers can buy through cash or credit basic commodities which are priced lower than those found in commercial groceries or even in public markets.

In the set-up, aside from cheaper goods, NaMaFraB members are given a privilege in availing of a weekly credit amounting to about P650 which is the average expense for basic commodities a worker's family consumes for one week. During the year-end, profits of the store will be channeled to a patronage refund which will be given as deduction to their members' credits or exchangeable for goods.

Batingal said the WIN-AP provided them with a P393,000 grant for the consumer store project, the checks which are still being processed will be used to set up the store located outside the plant's premises. He is very thankful to DOLE, saying that the project will be a great help to the association and also to their members. (PIA XI) [top]

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